Emancipation Day in Florida
Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War, and two years after the Proclamation first issued by President Abraham Lincoln freed those enslaved in Southern states.
For this reason, Emancipation Day is traditionally celebrated on May 20 in Florida.
We're highlighting the following resources at the Division of Library & Information Services to help join in the Emancipation Day celebration.
Many of these resources are available online, or you can plan a visit to use them in person.
Emancipation & reconstruction bibliography
This guide from the State Library of Florida explores Emancipation in Florida and the Reconstruction period that followed (1865-1877).
- Unheralded Emancipation (May, 1862)
- Emancipation Day Celebrations in Florida
- Juneteenth and Emancipation Day in Florida
Check out a gallery of images from Emancipation Day celebrations.
More online resources
The Gale Virtual Reference Library contains additional information and research related to the Emancipation Proclamation.
The GVRL is accessible to all Floridians.
Selected resources include:
- "The Emancipation Proclamation." Human and Civil Rights: Essential Primary Sources, edited by Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 107–110.
- "Emancipation Proclamation."American Eras: Primary Sources, edited by Rebecca Parks, vol. 2: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1860-1877, Gale, 2013, pp. 192–195.
- "Decisions Leading to Emancipation."Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, edited by Orville Vernon Burton, vol. 2, Gale, 2008, p. 82.
- "Emancipation."Gale Library of Daily Life: American Civil War, edited by Steven E. Woodworth, vol. 2, Gale, 2008, pp. 226-227.
- "Abraham Lincoln Issues the Emancipation Proclamation."Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 6: North America, Gale, 2014, pp. 161–164.
- Blight, David W. "Emancipation in the United States."Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, edited by Colin A. Palmer, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 701–708.
- Malvasi, Mark G., and Chester J. Wynne. "Emancipation: Did Emancipation Improve the Conditions of Former Slaves in the United States?"History in Dispute, edited by Mark G. Malvasi, vol. 13: Slavery in the Western Hemisphere, circa 1500–1888, St. James Press, 2003, pp. 50–58.